The 13 Most Expensive Sires in the World (and the Stud Fee for Each)

Expensive Sires
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Written by Hannah Ward

Published: December 3, 2023

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The Thoroughbred industry is a hugely popular industry, and the richest race in the world is currently the Saudi Cup which is worth $20 million. Therefore, it’s no surprise to find that the most expensive sires in the world are Thoroughbreds, as breeders continually strive to breed the very best horses that are capable of competing in the biggest races. The 2023 breeding season has drawn to a close now, but in recent weeks the stud fees for the 2024 season have been announced. So, which are the most expensive sires in the world? Keep reading as we reveal their names, along with their stud fee for the coming breeding season.

13. Flightline — $150,000

Flightline dominates in the 2022 Breeder’s Cup Classic to record his sixth straight win.

Standing at: Lane’s End Farm, Kentucky, USA

The first horse on the list is Flightline, who has a stud fee of $150,000, which is a $50,000 reduction of his fee in 2023. Flightline is a son of Tapit, who also features on the list. He is unbeaten in all six races, including the Breeder’s Cup Classic on his final start, and was crowned the Horse of the Year in 2022. Having only retired from racing in November 2022, Flightline’s first season at stud was 2023. This means that we will have to wait until 2026 to see how his first crop of foals fare on the track, although it’s fair that expectations will be high.

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12. Kingman — £125,000 / $157,512

Kingman shows an impressive turn of foot to win the St. James Palace Stakes.

Standing at: Banstead Stud, Newmarket, UK

Taking the twelfth spot as one of the most expensive sires in the world is Kingman. Only beaten once during his career on the track, Kingman now commands a stud fee of £125,000 ($157,512). Kingman has sired 46 Group winners so far, including four during 2023. His progeny all regularly top the sales, with one yearling colt selling for 900,000 guineas in October.

11. No Nay Never — €150,000 / $164,242

No Nay Never wins the Grade 1 Prix Morny in France.

Standing at: Coolmore Stud, Ireland

The first of the Coolmore horses on the list is No Nay Never, who has a 2024 stud fee of €150,000 ($164,242). No Nay Never was unbeaten as a two-year-old and won four of his six lifetime starts, finishing second in the other two. He’s passed his will to win onto his foals and has sired a total of 57 Group winners to date. 11 of these were juvenile winners during the 2022 – 2023 season, with Blackbeard, Little Big Bear, and Meditate leading the way with Group 1 victories.

10. Extreme Choice — A$275,000 / $181,005

Extreme Choice is regarded as the best sire in Australia.

Standing at: Newgate Farm, Australia

The tenth horse on the list is also the only one standing in the Southern Hemisphere. Extreme Choice has a stud fee of A$275,000, which equates to approximately $181,005. Unfortunately, Extreme Choice suffers from fertility issues, which means that he’s only available for a limited number of mares per year. However, despite this, he’s still regarded as being the best sire in Australia and has one of the best ratios in the country of stakes winners compared to the number of runners. His notable progeny include the Group 1 winners She’s Extreme and Stay Inside.

9. Tapit — $185,000

Tapit has produced more than 30 Grade 1 winners.

Standing at: Gainesway Farm, Kentucky, USA

The sire of Flightline, Tapit, currently stands for $185,000, remaining unchanged for the fourth year running. Although Flightline is undoubtedly Tapit’s most high-profile progeny, he has continually produced black-type winners year after year, with more than 30 coming at Grade 1 level. A number of his other sons are also proving to be successful sires, including Constitution, who rakes in a stud fee of $110,000.

7. Justify —$200,000

Justify’s win in the Belmont Stakes cemented his place in history.

Standing at: Ashford Stud, Kentucky, USA

The next most expensive sire on the list is the 2018 Triple Crown winner, Justify, whose stud fee has now doubled for 2024, bringing it to $200,000. Justify was unbeaten in six starts and retired after his history-making success at Belmont, before joining the ranks as stud in 2019. Although it’s still early days in his breeding career, he’s already achieved several Group 1 winners from his first two crops.

7. Quality Road — $200,000

Quality Road emphatically wins the Metropolitan Mile.

Standing at: Lane’s End Farm, Kentucky, USA

Also standing for $200,000 is Quality Road, whose fee remains the same for 2024, following a $50,000 increase in 2023. Quality Road is a proven sire of Group 1 and Group 2 winners, both in Europe and in the US. However, his highlight as a sire has to be Emblem Road winning the 2022 Saudi Cup, which was worth more than $9 million.

5. Sea The Stars — €200,000 / $218,990

Sea The Stars was a winner of the Epsom Derby in 2009 and has since sired numerous high-class winners.

Standing at: Gilltown Stud, Ireland

An increase of £20,000 sees Sea The Stars’ stud fee jump to €200,000 (approximately $218,990) for 2024. A winner of eight of his nine races, including the 2009 Epsom Derby and the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, Sea The Stars has enjoyed notable success both on and off the track. He’s sired 21 Group 1 winners, which include Baaeed and Emily Upjohn, and is currently the leading sire in Europe based on prize money.

5. Wootton Bassett — €200,000 / $218,990

Wootton Bassett has sired five juvenile group winners in 2023.

Standing at: Coolmore Stud, Ireland

Also standing in Ireland for a €200,000 stud fee, this time at Coolmore Stud, is Wootton Bassett. This is an increase from his fee of €150,000 in 2023. Wootton Bassett sired five juvenile group winners in 2023, as well as the notable three-year-old King of Steel, who was runner-up in the Epsom Derby before winning the Group 2 King Edward VII Stakes and the Group 1 Champion Stakes.

3. Curlin —$250,000

Curlin was a winner of the 2008 Dubai World Cup.

Standing at: Hill ‘n’ Dale Farms, Kentucky, USA

In joint-third position is Curlin with a stud fee of $250,000, which is a $25,000 increase on his 2023 fee. Curlin had 15 starts with 11 wins, including the 2007 Preakness States and the 2008 Dubai World Cup. In 2022, he became the first sire to have three Breeder’s Cup winners on the same day. One of those winners, Cody’s Wish, has now secured his status as one of Curlin’s most notable progeny with back-to-back wins in the Breeder’s Cup Mile.

3. Into Mischief — $250,000

Into Mischief sired this year’s Kentucky Oaks winner, Pretty Mischievous.

Standing at: Spendthrift Farm, Kentucky, USA

Also in joint-third position is Into Mischief, who stands for $250,000 at Spendthrift Farm in Kentucky. Into Mischief has once again topped the chart as the leading sire in North America for the fifth consecutive year. He continually produces winners of black-type races, including the winner of the 2023 Kentucky Oaks, Pretty Mischievous. He also had a record-breaking year in the yearling sales, with a yearling colt selling for a cool $3 million.

2. Frankel — £350,000 / $441,035

Frankel recorded an impressive win in the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Standing at: Banstead Manor Stud, Newmarket, UK

Now in joint first place as one of the most expensive sires is Frankel, with his 2024 stud fee increased to £350,000 (approximately $441,035) from £275,000 in 2023. Frankel was unbeaten in all fourteen starts, including ten Group 1 wins, and amassed almost £3 million in prize money. He has quickly become one of the leading sires in the world and has sired 33 Group 1 winners to date, including 2021’s Epsom Derby winner Adayar and this year’s 2,000 Guineas winner Chaldean. Furthermore, this year a yearling colt by him sold for an incredible two million guineas, one of the highest prices in Europe.

1. Dubawi — £350,000 / $441,035

Dubawi, seen here winning the Irish 2,000 Guineas, is the sire of 57 Grade 1 winners so far.

Standing at: Dalham Hall Stud, Newmarket, UK

Up until the announcement that Frankel’s stud fee had been raised to the same as Dubawi’s, Dubawi had held the spot as the most expensive sire. Dubawi’s fee remains the same as 2023 for the upcoming season at £350,000. He was the winner of five of his eight starts on the track, including winning the Irish 2,000 Guineas, but his biggest success has undoubtedly come in the breeding shed.

The son of Dubai Millennium has now sired 175 Group winners, including 57 at Grade 1 level. His winners this season include the unbeaten two-year-old, Henry Longfellow, whose season has cumulated in Group 1 victory at the Curragh in Ireland. His other notable progeny include last season’s Breeder’s Cup Mile winner, Modern Games, who is now himself standing alongside his sire at Dalham Hall Stud.

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About the Author

Hannah is a writer at A-Z animals where her primary focus is on reptiles, marine life, mammals, and geography. Hannah has been writing and researching animals for four years alongside running her family farm. A resident of the UK, Hannah loves riding horses and creating short stories.

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